"The Second Industrial Revolution coincided with an age of imperialism as European states extended their hegemony over much of the globe. What accounted for the struggle of Europeans to claim and control the entire world? Some historians suggest that the new imperialism (to differentiate it from the colonialism of settlement and trade of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries) was a direct result of industrialization. With intensified economic activity and competition, Europeans struggled for raw materials, markets for their commodities, and places to invest their capital. In the late nineteenth century, many politicians and industrialists believed that the only way their nations could ensure their economic necessities was the acquisition of overseas territories” (Perry (B.S.). 408).
I. Motives for European imperialism:
1. economic exploitation [raw materials--rubber, tin, and oil not found in western nations; cotton, sisal, palm oil, ivory, cocoa, coffee, hides (Greaves 778) and markets for the finished products]: But most colonies were not profitable for the nations. In fact, much colonial territory was mere wasteland and cost more to rule than it was worth economically. What drove countries to sustain such losses then was not profit but national prestige. Business typically invested wherever they could make money, not necessarily in their own countries colonial empire
nationalism (win glory for the nation):
3. racism and other ideas of national superiority: Social Darwinists argued that all white men were better fit than non-whites to prevail in the inevitable struggle for dominance in which strong nations would survive and others would not. This justified the rule of Europeans over other peoples.
4. humanitarian concern for others: Some believed that the extension of empire, law, order, and industrial civilization would raise "backward peoples" up the ladder of evolution and civilization. An example would be the concept of “White Man’s Burden”; that is, it was the duty of European Christians to civilize the savages of the world. Yet, in their favor, it must be admitted that “Missionaries were the first to meet and learn about many peoples and the first to develop writing for those without a written language. Christian missionaries were ardently opposed to slavery, and throughout the century they had gone to unexplored African regions to preach against slavery, which was still carried on by Arab and African traders. But to end slavery, many of them believed that Europeans must furnish law, order, and stability” (Perry B.S. 409). So they are still convinced of the superiority of Western civilization, i.e., unable to separate culture and religion.
5. a desire for adventure (an interest is exotic places): Individuals and nations competed to find the highest mountains, the longest river, the highest waterfall, the land never before see by white men! Adventure!
II. Areas of European Domination
"Aided by superior technology and the
machinery of the modern state, Europeans established varying degrees of
political control over much of the rest of the world:  COLONY: Control could mean outright
annexation and the governing of a territory as a colony. In this way
In some non-Western lands, the governing authorities granted extraterritoriality, or the right of Europeans to trial by their own laws in foreign countries. Europeans often also lived a segregated and privileged life in quarters, clubs, and whole sections of foreign lands or cities in which no native was allowed to live” (Perry B.S. 410-411).
The most rapid
European expansion took place in Africa, even though there was little interest
The reason for this rapid expansion in Africa
was the international Berlin Conference called by Bismarck and Jules Ferry, the
"Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902), who had gone
"During the Napoleonic wars, the
British had gained
"The discovery of rich deposits of gold
and diamonds in the Boer lands reinforced Rhodes's dream to build a great
British empire in
"The Boers were formidable opponents--farmers by day and commandos by night, armed with the latest French and German rifles. To deal with their stubborn foe, the British herded or "concentrated" thousands of Boers, including women and children, into compounds where some 25,000 perished. After three years, the nasty war ended in 1902. The British, hoping to live together in peace with the Boers, drew up a conciliatory treaty. In 1910 the former Boer republics were joined with the British territories into the Union of South Africa. Self-government within the British Empire for the British settlers and the Boers did not help the majority black population, who had to cope with the Boers' deeply entrenched racist attitudes” (Perry B.S., 420-1).
“Until the 18th c. ,
"An `Opium War'
"...the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95,
The Boxer Rebellion (1899-1899): The Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists (called Boxers by Europeans) attacked foreigners throughout the north of China, but the foreign powers combined to suppress the rebellion and forced China to accept foreign troops stationed on its soil.
In 1911 nationalist revolutionaries, strongly present among soldiers, workers, and students, overthrew the Manchu and declared a republic with Sun Yat-sen as its first president [Sun Yat-sen, a scholar and political reformer, educated in British-ruled Hong Kong; realized benefits that Western science could offer his countrymen, but also realized deeply rooted traditions and ancient culture of China could not be changed over night], but a divided China (regional leaders with private armies and communists under Mao Zedong continued civil war) continued to be at the mercy of outside interests until after WWII.
“In 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry sailed
“Whereas China with its incomparably greater human and material resources spent itself vainly in trying to expel ‘foreign devils,’ Japan, by embracing the West, not only retained its independence but became a world power in its own right” (Greaves 799).
In the last part of the eighteenth century,
the British East India Company became a territorial power in
(1) Positive results of British rule:
 there was at least some political unity--the end of internal war and disorder
 the British built a modern railroad and communications system and developed agriculture and industry to meet the needs of the world market.
 the railroad, as a link to areas of food surplus, reduced
the incidence and impact of local famines, which had plagued
 population increased as fewer people died of starvation and lives were saved by Western medical practices.
(2) Negative results of British rule:
 they were ruled by foreigners
 the British flooded the Indian market with cheap, machine-produced English goods which drove native artisans out of business or even deeper into debt;
 racism excluded the Indian elite from British clubs, hotels, and social gatherings and from top government positions alienated even the older elite of princes and landlords who may have profited from British connections (British lack of respect for Indian traditions and culture)
(3) Result: Indians began to push for independence. Mohandas K. Ghandi
(1869-1948) developed a doctrine of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance
that--along with British exhaustion from World War II--would lead to Indian
independence without a war between Indian and
III. Results of European imperialism:
1. the Westernization of non-Europeans
("Many non-European rulers became absorbed in westernizing or modernizing their people in order to maintain their own control. The sultan of Turkey, the khedive of Egypt, the emperor of Japan and his advisors, and the emperor or empress of China are all examples of rulers who tried to cope with Europeans and Americans in this way” [I.M. to Perry, 139].)
2. resistance to Westernization
("With varying degrees of success, many non-Europeans resisted Europeanization with a variety of tactics, such as Gandhi's movement of resistance in India, the revolt in Mexico against Maximilian and later against primarily American business interests, and the proclamation of modern nationhood in Turkey [ibid.].)
3. European interference into the affairs of a non-European area
4. conflicts between the European powers themselves that would contribute to the outbreak f World War I.
5. the rise of nationalism in some peoples (Indians, Turks & Egyptians)
the exchange of technology, culture, and values